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School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Mally (Malgorzata) Stelmaszyk

Mally (Malgorzata) Stelmaszyk
Dr Mally (Malgorzata) Stelmaszyk
Teaching Fellow in Social Anthropology
5.12 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Witchcraft, curses, Post-socialist transformation, music and sound, alcohol addiction, shamanism, spirit possession

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Wednesdays, 11-12


My doctoral thesis is about curses. It shows how the mechanics of cursing, characterised by the notion of turbulence, are intrinsically linked to shamanic practice in the ethnographic context of social, economic and political shifts in post-Soviet Kyzyl, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Tuva. In particular, while approaching shamanic practice as a form of artistry, it concentrates on different forms of sound production, i.e. instrumental (the drum) and human (the shaman’s voice). Engaging with the agency of sound, it discusses the notions of materiality and the logic of representation. It also illuminates how curses can become effective analytical tools allowing us to grasp the mosaic-like characteristics of the sociocultural contexts in which they are embedded.


 M. Stelmaszyk, 2019 (in press). From “sounded” negotiations to shaman shows: The efficacy of shamanic practice in post-Soviet Kyzyl, Tuva. In Voss, E (ed.), Mediality on Trial. Testing and Contesting Trance and other Media Techniques. Berlin: De Gruyter, Series Okkulte Moderne, Vol 2.

M. Stelmaszyk, 2018. Turbulent beings. Curses and Systems of Healing Cooperation in post-Soviet Tuva, Siberia. Curare, Journal of Medical Anthropology. Vol. 41 (1+2): 51-62.

M. Stelmaszyk, D. Szumska, 2011. Sud’ba (na mater’ale russkoj I polskoj lingvokul’tur). In Slav’anskaja Konceptosfera v sopostavit’elnom osv’eshenii: Leksinkon. (ed.) Stefanskij, E.E, Samara: SAGA, pp. 410-415.